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Ready or not, here I come (my first event) #15456
05/22/08 12:46 PM
05/22/08 12:46 PM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline OP
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Jim Poor  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Well, Saturday is the big day. I don't know that I will ever feel ready for the first one, but I had planned on waiting a bit longer than this to do my first paid event.

That said, these folks have seen my work and like it so there is no reason I can't deliver.

I think I have everything I need:

Three cameras, Main, Backup and Spare
Two SB-800 and four SB R200 just in case the natural light doesn't work out, as well as some always on lighting and diffusers.

External power for the SB-800 plus batteries just in case.

70-200VR for portraits with a 105, 50, and 17-55 for just in case and 200-400 and 600 for the races with two tripods & heads.

Three Backdrops & two sets of stands

Two Laptops

3 16GB flash cards & two readers along with a few smaller cards in case of massive failure of all three of the big ones.

Agreements, model releases, minor model releases, price lists.

Business cards & flyers.

Cash Box and change.

Various clamps, ties and other widgets.

Printed and framed samples.

My lovely assistant of 18 years.

Directions and an invite to eat lunch with the group, though I'm hoping to be too busy to eat during normal lunch time.


I think that is about it. Did I miss much?

Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: Jim Poor] #15457
05/22/08 01:53 PM
05/22/08 01:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim,
don't forget toys and other baiting materials! Are you going to process credit/debit cards? If so, bring the forms and the machine to run them.

Otherwise, sounds like you have all the bases covered. Make sure your batteries are charged and bring a spare just in case but with 3 bodies I don't think that'll be an issue. I hope you take enough pics to exhaust a battery or two!

Good luck. Work hard but don't forget to have some fun and to make it fun for the people and the dogs. That's the one thing I try to bring to the equation when I shoot a show and it's the basic reason I get invited back. Folks enjoy their time with me. And so do the dogs. So, don't be uptight. Be confident you have it all covered and just concentrate on giving good portraits.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: Jim Garvie] #15458
05/22/08 02:13 PM
05/22/08 02:13 PM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline OP
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Jim Poor  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Thanks Jim.

SQUEAKY TOYS! They actually reside in my background bag, so I would have been OK, but I forgot to list them . . .

No credit cards yet.

I have two batteries for each body. Definitely in it for the fun The lady that invited me is all about how informal this field trial is.

It is also talking place in someone's back yard, so I can't wait to see the place.

Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: Jim Poor] #15459
05/24/08 05:33 PM
05/24/08 05:33 PM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline OP
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Jim Poor  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Well, we're back and we survived!

Things went really well, though it was certainly a learning experience.

18 of the 23 dogs in the event had portraits made so I was much busier than I thought.

I potentially booked two more events from today's interaction.

Things I would / will do differently.

1. Get a stool! My knees are killing me
1b. Get Knee-pads!

The review sessions were hardest as I was kneeling. The actual portrait sessions were not so bad since I was laying on the floor most of the time.

2. Go with after the event proofs. Reviewing everyone's images on the spot took a lot of time and backed up the line.

3. Get a Spider Light (actually, I'm building one). I had three more dogs that were afraid of the flash (rescues that had been abused in the past).

4. Bump my print prices up by about $2.00 each. Even for a charity event I think I was a little on the low end.

Things to think about:

Some sort of non-slip thing to go under the Muslin (I was on a smooth, sealed basement floor and it slid around a lot). Maybe a rubber non-slip piece for area rugs?


Other things I learned.

What I like and what others like are almost never in the same ball park. I tried really hard to talk someone out of a print that I thought was out of focus. They, however, thought it was "dreamy" and soft. They win!

I can actually do this.

My wife and lovely assistant deserves a raise!


Quote of the day:

"Honey, lay down over there and reach your arm BEHIND the basket (a prop) and scratch the dogs butt to keep him still." And she did it!

Biggest surprise:

A really large order for prints that included some B&W conversion as well as some cosmetic retouching. The most surprising part was that the couple didn't even bat an eye when they saw the fee for the retouch. There dog had a tumor removed from it's eye and isn't quite healed yet.

Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: Jim Poor] #15460
05/25/08 07:21 AM
05/25/08 07:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim,
sounds like things went very well. Congrats on all the positives. You will continue to learn how to do things differently at each event you shoot so don't be too surprised that the actual experience was a bit different than you had imagined.

You might consider something to raise the dogs up in addition to finding ways to preserve your knees (after 5 knee surgeries, I tend to think of this kinda stuff first ). Like maybe an overstuffed chair that the dogs would be comfortable sitting in over which you drape the backdrop. That way you could sit and shoot.

On-site proofing sounds better than it is in reality. Unless your faithful assistant can handle that task and you have a third assistant to help with the animals, it simply isn't worth the time you lose. Plus, you really can't do any editing. Since I shoot RAW, I like to work on all the proofs. That's why I don't do on-site any more. I either post or mail.

We have a couple of different rolls of rubber-backed indoor/outdoor carpeting that we drag with us to events to make sure we have a floor area that is non-slip. They're cheap at Lowes or Home Depot. Get them 10X10. They store well in the garage.

As for pricing, often you have to see what the event can handle and price it from there. That's how you learn what the market will bear.

As for what the customer picks, I don't let them select the proofs but I do let them select the final prints. That's the advantage of off-line proofing -- you can weed out the images that are technically not what you want to have represent your work. Beyond that, yup, folks have their own impression of what a good picture is and they're always right .

Congratulations of surviving and it sounds like you actually enjoyed it. That's important too.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: Jim Garvie] #15461
05/25/08 01:01 PM
05/25/08 01:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
ny
pawprintz Offline
Tracker
pawprintz  Offline
Tracker

Joined: Oct 2006
ny
sounds like you did great! congrats.
i've found that people choose photos of their pets i would never choose, some i don't even care for they absolutely LOVE. go figure!

liz

Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: pawprintz] #15462
05/25/08 07:25 PM
05/25/08 07:25 PM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline OP
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Jim Poor  Offline OP
Addict

Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Thanks guys.

Great idea on the carpeting.

I was offered use of a grooming table, but I was afraid one of the dogs might jump off and get hurt. I also had an 8x3 folding shop table in the car, but ended up using it for samples, forms and such.

I was shooting RAW as well, and by the end of the day the downloading was taking a while even with "don't download dupes" set. Apparently, Lightroom has to look at all the files anyway. I was rotating two 16GB cards through the camera and computer.

I figure it wasn't bad for the first event. There were only a total of 23 dogs around, but I have a big one in September with an average of 300+ dogs registered each year. A couple more smaller events between now and then to get the kinks out.

Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: Jim Poor] #15463
07/27/10 08:31 PM
07/27/10 08:31 PM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline OP
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Jim Poor  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Wow, what a difference two years make!

Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: Jim Poor] #15464
07/27/10 08:35 PM
07/27/10 08:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Julie Offline
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Julie  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
TN
Amazing isn't it!

Re: Ready or not, here I come (my first event) [Re: Julie] #15465
07/28/10 12:22 AM
07/28/10 12:22 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Portland, Or
NinaS Offline
Venturer
NinaS  Offline
Venturer

Joined: Jun 2010
Portland, Or
Jim,
Congrats on an event well done

I have a number of 2x4' tables that adjust to 3 heights, the lowest being knee height, the next is normal table height and the tallest is great for standing & viewing stuff. They fold in the middle, so they have a 2x2' flat footprint to pack ... got them at Kmart, they're the white buffet type ... hard to find but worth the hunt

I put two together on low height to have a 4x4 platform, have a rubber pad on it, then clamp a black knotty fabric in 4 places over that, then toss whatever I want over the black & have a non-slip platform off the ground, so I can sit on a stool or on the ground (depending on dog size)

absolutely worth the savings on the knees, let alone a laundry bill LOL


I shoot Canon

PDXDogPortraits
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